Lithuania have had a strong start to the 2020’s in Eurovision, being one of the pre-contest favourites in 2020, and cracking the top 10 in 2021 with The Roop. Looking to continue Lithuania’s recent success is Monika Liu with the song ‘Sentimentai’, following her win of Pabandom iš naujo 2022. Here we learn more about Monika, and Lithuania’s chances in Eurovision 2022 in Turin.
Who Is Monika Liu?
Monika Liubinaitė was born in Klaipėda, Lithuania, a port city next to the Baltic Sea. Monika has enjoyed music and performing since she was a child, learning ballet and the violin from a young age. Monika then went on to study music in Boston, USA, after which she moved to London, UK, where further developed her songwriting ability and grew her career in music. Since then Monika has moved back to Lithuania, where she has established herself as a household name in her home country. Monika has released three albums, and has appeared as a judge on the Lithuanian versions of The Voice and The Masked Singer.
Monika Liu’s music style could be described as electro-pop infused with retro and minimalist elements, drawing comparisons to artists such as Bjork and Roisin Murphy. ‘Sentimentai’ (English: Sentiments) follows this style, with a distinct lounge jazz vibe with electronic beats and synths that bring it into the 21st century. The song describes the fading memories of a former partner.
A million roses like sentiments, are drowning in the sea of cloudsLyrics from ‘Sentimentai’
The lyrics are complex and meaningful, mentioning ‘black foam’ in reference to Lithuanian folk stoy in which a woman is waiting for her lover, appearing as white foam if alive or black foam if dead.
That’s it – he’s never coming back, he arrived as black foamLyrics from ‘Sentimentai’
‘Sentimentai’ stands out as being the first song from Lithuania in Eurovision to be in the Lithuanian language since their debut in 1994 (unless you count their 1999 entry, however, this was in the Samogitian dialect, which is considered a distinct language by some).
Monika Liu decisively won Pabandom iš naujo 2022, topping both the jury and televote. However, is this success indicative of how ‘Sentimentai’ may perform in Eurovision 2022?
How Well Will Monika Liu Do At Eurovision?
It’s been joked in the fandom that in Eurovision ‘the devil works hard, but the Lithuanian diaspora works harder’ – this refers to the large number of Lithuanians living across Europe that vote for their own country and lead to certain countries often giving Lithuania a high televote score. The United Kingdom and Ireland are two prominent examples of this; the UK televote has given 12 points to Lithuania each time they have been in the Grand Final since 2016. Unfortunately for Lithuania, the UK and Ireland are not voting in Semi Final 1, which may put them at a slight disadvantage. Nonetheless, Lithuania generally perform well in the televote, and has countries voting in that semi (i.e. Norway, Latvia) that often score them highly. The juries may score this well, as previously songs with a jazz and retro feel tend to be ranked highly by jurors. Perhaps Lithuania’s biggest hurdle is it’s running order, it is 3rd in the running order of Semi Final 1, statistically this is the worst spot to have in a semi final. With ‘Sentimentai’ being understated and subtle, there’s a chance that it might get forgotten, being so early in the running order.
Nevertheless, Monika’s excellent charisma and stage presence, as we have witnessed across various preparties, bring ‘Sentimentai’ to life on-stage and will ensure a memorable and iconic performance in Turin.
You can listen to the Lithuanian entry for Eurovision 2022 below!
What do you think of ‘Sentimentai’? Do you think Lithuania will qualify? Let us know in the comments!